Our daughter is getting married in a couple days and I thought it might be good to put my thoughts down in a father’s letter to his daughter. I do not believe she is aware of this website or blog, but will certainly find it at some point. Sweetie, I hope someday you enjoy my letter and my best wishes for your marriage. I love you!
Dear Sweet Melissa,
I am so proud of you and the progress you have made in your young life. You have been such a great daughter from a parent’s perspective, avoiding many of the struggles parents face with their children as they mature.
No poor grades, school issues, car wrecks, drama, or jail time! 🙂 I avoided the karmic pay back for all the grief I gave my parents while I lived in their house. You were a joy to us as parents, respecting us while we were learning our own parenting skills.
You have been a great communicator with all of our family, always open for discussion. I have enjoyed talking with you nearly every week for over the last ten years. It has been exciting to visit with you and your sister. I hope it was fun for you too. I do understand if we don’t talk as much in the future as you transition to your married life.
We are proud of your accomplishments and success in the orchestra and high school years. This set the stage for you to complete four years at the university without taking a break. You focused special attention on the classes that were a struggle, not afraid to receive a tutor’s assistance until you understood the subject, and then you excelled. That took serious drive and determination on your part. I am also proud that you worked a part-time job during your school years, to help cover your personal expenses and to save for your future.
We are proud that you graduated completely debt free. If fact, you have never borrowed money, paid cash for your car, accumulated a healthy emergency fund, and already saved money for your own retirement. Congratulations are also in order for landing your new job!
You and your husband Jon both honored your commitment to graduate from college first before getting married. We welcome your husband into our family. It will be my honor to walk you down the aisle in a couple days, giving my first daughter away!
Many things I have learned in my life and marriage might be helpful to you. Here are a few things to consider.
Love and respect each other. You are different people with unique interests and personalities. Embrace that and seek to understand each other’s perspective. We all have different ways to view the world. Try to appreciate his view from his standpoint, recognizing why he feels that way.
Find a common passion and goal. You and your husband will have different goals on occasion. This is all right and you should have flexibility. What is important is to understand the big “WHY” in your lives together so that you can work as a team. If you want to move to Australia or take a year off, understanding why that goal is important, working together is key. Knowing the reasons why your goals are important, gives you the drive and energy you will need to pursue your dreams. When you both have the same passion and purpose, nothing can stop you.
Remember your pledge to each other. The two of you have shared a lot of time together and will soon be stating your wedding vows. I have not seen those vows, however they will probably include something such as – “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
Make sure you stick together for better or for worse – these times will happen so be prepared.
I see you getting richer, not poorer by your tenacity and hustle. Living below your means will help ensure the poorer does not come.
In sickness and in health – take care of yourselves, eat healthy, exercise, get regular checkups, and keep a positive attitude. You do have some longevity in your family- please embrace that fact.
Until death do us part – you are making a commitment to each other through thick and thin to remain married. The only thing that should stop this marriage is death. Work together and be kind to each other for all the rest of your marriage days.
Children. If you decide to have children, be prepared to teach and help them as they mature. Take the time in teaching moments to explain what you have learned, allow them to try new things, and assist when they have challenges. Plan to save money, from the day they are born, to pay for their college educations. Think of starting life with a great foundation, an education, and no debt as your responsibility to your children.
I know you have heard plenty of advice, instruction, mentoring, and talk about personal finance in your childhood years. I hope that this was not too much for you growing up. We did the best we could for you, attempting to educate, hopefully to avoid making the same mistakes we have made.
We wish you happiness and success in your marriage and are elated to have Jon in our family. We are so proud of you!
I love you,
PS: Sweetie I am going on the record now, that you were not adopted after all. Your mother and I did not pick you out at the orphanage! However, I am not prepared to comment on your sister at this time.
PPS: You are officially my favorite “married” daughter! It has been a long battle and competitive fight with your sister on achieving this favorite daughter status. Congratulations!
How about you, are there any readers out there with recently married children? Did you have any words of wisdom for them before their wedding?